Erica James was one of my favourite authors because her stories are usually easy to read and her chapters aren’t very long so ideal for bedtime reading.
I hadn’t read anything recent of hers so when I saw this on Amazon, I treated myself.
What I didn’t realise was that it was a follow on to Coming Home to Island House
and perhaps if I had read that first, I would not have been so confused with the characters as they were related in some way or another either by marriage or parentage, and it took well over half the book to remember who was who’s partner.
We have two time frames too, 1962/63 so one of the worst winters in UK history and the war 1942/44 which skipped from character to character in no particular order.
The story revolves around four women who each receive a poison pen letter touching nerves of their past or threatening the happiness they currently have. Doubts set in about loyalty and faithfulness, and in turn tensions arise in those relationships as the women keep quiet and see other family members as the culprit.
Romily is the matriarch of the family by marriage and a successful writer, but she too has her secrets from those wartime years.
You have a bullying and domineering husband who is also the brother of one of the other recipients, offspring of various age groups that make an appearance, and a love interest across the Pond from a war hero who also has a story to tell. There is also a twinge of sadness regarding unrequited love.
It’s not bad, and I got a feeling who was behind the letters about 2/3 of the way through which proved to be correct. I found the end rather tame and convenient, as if it was a rush job to finish within a certain wordage.